Greening the Holiday Season

Bloomington, IN – According to
Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group and a leading advocate for
sustainability in the professional cleaning industry, the most wonderful time
of the year isn’t that wonderful for the environment. 

He suggests we consider the

•    We use about 8,000 tons of wrapping paper
during the holiday season, equating to roughly 50,000 trees

•    Holiday waste increases by more than 25
percent from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day

•    Enough holiday cards are sold to fill a
football field 10 stories high

•    About half the paper used in the US is used
during the holiday season, mostly for cards and wrapping paper

•    An estimated 28 billion pounds of food is
wasted during the holidays

•    Thirty-three million trees are cut down for
holiday use, most of which are tossed as waste at the end of the season

“These numbers are
shocking and as our population grows, all of them are likely to increase,”
says Ashkin.  “It is obvious we need
to make the holiday season greener and more sustainable.”

To do this, Ashkin suggests
the following:

•    Eliminate packaging materials; deliver
gifts in baskets made of recycled materials, or package your gifts in
recyclable containers that can be reused or recycled

•    Give carbon offsets.  Each of us produces about 36,000 pounds of
carbon dioxide each year. Carbon Offset organizations fund projects to help reduce
the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere. 

•    Send a gift card using an app provided.  There is no packaging involved, it’s all

•    Make homemade goodies, preferably using
organic ingredients

•    Purchase from retailers that are committed
to protecting the environment and sustainability

•    Decorate holiday trees the old fashion way
using cranberries, popcorn, flowers, and greenery

•    Select locally grown foods, prepare only as
much as needed, and use the leftovers for compost

“One holiday gift I find
most rewarding is giving of my time,” says Ashkin. “I take someone to
a ballgame, the theater, or an event.  It
builds and bond’s relationships like no other gift can.”


About Stephen
Ashkin and The Ashk

Stephen P. Ashkin
is president of The
Ashkin Group
, a consulting firm specializing in
Greening the cleaning industry, and CEO of Sustainability Dashboard
Tools, which helps facilities monitor and measure their use of natural
resources.  He
is known as the “father of Green Cleaning” and the professional cleaning
industries leading advocate promoting sustainability.  He is also
coauthor of both The Business of Green
and Green Cleaning for

Contact Information

Stephen Ashkin